Veolia was awarded the contract by a Lesotho-based technology provider, Unique Trading (Pty) Ltd under the management of Philemon Phamotse, initially contracted by the Lesotho Ministry of Water. The project involved the design, manufacture, build and delivery of four mobile WTPs for use in the land-locked Kingdom of Lesotho. The mobile plants are mounted on four diesel-powered 4x4 trucks to treat river water destined for remote areas in rough terrain.
The river water is pumped into the mobile plants to undergo clarification, Ultra Filtration (UF) and disinfection. The plants contain ceramic membrane UF units designed for their ruggedness under rough conditions and their ability to accept varying water qualities without the need for excessive cleaning, when compared to conventional UF membranes. “This differs greatly from our conventional packaged water treatment plants, which normally consist of a clarifier, sand and activated carbon filtration as well as disinfection technologies,” points out Victoria Tutubala, Project Engineer, Veolia Water Technologies South Africa. These water treatment package plants are designed locally using technologies from Veolia’s sister companies, such as the membranes, which are sourced from Veolia in the USA and the housing from Veolia Germany.
“While these truck-mounted mobile WTPs are a first for Veolia in South Africa, the engineering of these units has allowed for ease of assembly because we used our expertise in package plants to modularise the system and reduce manufacturing time and costs,” Tutubala explains. “Subsequent to equipment manufacture, our engineers built all the treatment process equipment onto a built-for-size frame, and the entire structure was then mounted on to the 4 x 4 truck load area.”
Process equipment for each plant consists of a raw water feed pump, basket strainer, clarifier, ceramic membrane UF unit, chemical dosing unit, compressor, backwash and air receiver tanks, and the entire WTP is generator-powered. Additionally, each mobile unit will have its own UF clean-in place (CIP) skid for use when required.
From order to delivery took only between 12 and 13 weeks, with all equipment design, manufacture, construction and mounting carried out at Veolia’s Sebenza facilities in Johannesburg East. “The factory acceptance testing (FAT) was also conducted in Sebenza,” Tutubala concludes. “Our customer’s personnel training in Lesotho served as commissioning, as the plants are designed for ‘plug-and-play’”.